Thursday, December 30, 2010

There is no Silent but Sensible HBD Majority

Steve Sailer wonders if there is a Silent but Sensible Majority out there when it comes to HBD-related issues like racial differences in academic performance. The GSS convinces me that the answer is definitely no.

Beginning in 1977, survey particpants were asked: "On the average, blacks have worse jobs, income, and housing than white people. Do you think these differences are because most blacks have less in-born ability to learn?"
Here are the percentages who answered yes by year:

There were quite a few race realists in the 70s, but the number has dropped to around 10 percent. Things have only gotten worse post-Bell Curve (1994).
Yes, but it's educated opinion that really matters. Perhaps they have more sense (the graphs shows 4-year college grads or higher):
Educated people didn't believe blacks differ innately three decades ago; even fewer do now.
Verdict: public opinion doesn't follow the data in the least. It is irrational; it follows fads.


  1. Anonymous12:07 PM

    The easy criticism, as always, is that "this is what people say they think, not what they really think." Politely-PC Answers are more common in 2010 than 1977, of course.

    If you can find some hard data on what people do (rather than say), now that's interesting. Black-white housing segregation, higher or lower in 2010 than in 1977?

  2. To quote myself:

    Political correctness is immune to evidence.

    And I do not mean relatively-immune - such that PC requires an overwhelming weight of evidence to be convinced - I mean utterly and completely immune to evidence such that unanimity of incontrovertible evidence against PC is still insufficient to induce significant change.

    We know this to be true.

    This doesn't mean doing nothing; but it does mean that rational argument is pointless at best and more-likely counter-productive.

  3. I also looked at this last year, though I didn't break it down by year. Instead, I broke it down by race, which is probably worse than by year since attitudes have changed so much.

  4. I agree with hailtoyou. Aren't GSS surveys conducted face-to-face? Publicly admitting to HBD today is to most people like it would have been to admit disbelief in Catholicism in Medieval times. Still, it seems clear that there is no silent but sensible majority.

  5. Anonymous6:29 AM

    Since the media and universities have locked out nearly all serious dissenters, someone should come up with the idea of introducing low-threshold PR as a way of electing a house of the state legislature. Probably in a initiative-referendum state where there is not a lot of affection for either major party.

  6. JL: Yes, respondents are typically interviewed in their homes. I bet support for HBD is underreported. We just don't know how much. If I can find a more anonymous methodology, I'll post the results.

  7. People behave, in terms of where they buy real estate, where they send their kids to school, etc as if they believe in HBD.

  8. People behave, in terms of where they buy real estate, where they send their kids to school, etc as if they believe in HBD.

    This shows a complete lack of understanding of how people think. I grew up in the suburbs of a big crime infested black city and everybody knew you didn't go into the black ghetto. I still didn't believe in HBD.


    A Tale of Two Societies

  10. RAH,
    Your actions---as opposed to your words, are exactly the same as mine. How are you not a racist?---not that there's anything wrong with that.

  11. S Wilson11:16 AM

    It's interesting how college educated opinion fell by at least half after the publication of The Bell Curve. The liberal backlash was such (especially in academe) that *fewer* people believed in HBD after than before. Exactly opposite what should have taken place.

  12. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Why don't we start with: % of people who believe there are racial differences in intelligence regardless of the cause. That will tell us much more.

  13. i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

    i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.

  14. The way the question was phrased with no "partly" before the word "because" makes it seem like it's asking if the racial gaps are ENTIRELY due to in-born aka genetic differences. That is an extremist position that few race realists hold.

    So I'd guess people answered as they did because by far most read it that way, with the additive realization that to answer otherwise would lead to the being high vulnerable to being vilified as racist.

  15. What people believe and what they say they believe on highly sensitive subject to severe punishment political correctness issues are not the same thing.

    American engage in double think all the time.


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